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Vibration Isolation Options for Optical Tops and Laboratory Benches

In our previous video we discussed the difference between damping and isolation for an optical top or optical bench. In the video below, Jake explains the different vibration isolation options, such as our standard Gimbal Piston Air Isolator or our MaxDamp isolator, and typical applications for each.

CleanBench tables and CleanTop optical tops typically incorporate TMC’s Gimbal Piston® Air Isolators as a standard feature. The Gimbal Piston has consistently out-performed other air isolators in side-by-side testing. It offers outstanding low frequency vibration isolation in all axes and maintains its performance specifications even when subjected to extremely low input levels of excitation. Proprietary damping techniques allow the Gimbal Piston to stabilize top-heavy payloads and quickly dissipate disturbances of the isolated tabletop.

The figure below shows a cutaway view of TMC’s Gimbal Piston® isolator. It uses two air chambers instead of one. These are connected by a small orifice. As the piston moves up and down, air is forced to move through this orifice, producing a damping force on the payload. This type of damping is very strong for large displacements of the piston and less for small displacements. This allows for fast settling of the payload, without compromising small amplitude vibration isolation performance. 

Gimbal Piston Cut Away

TMC’s MaxDamp isolators use a different method: multi-axis viscous fluid damping (Patent No. 5,918,862). These isolators can extend the damping to near critical levels for those applications which require it. For example, semiconductor inspection equipment often uses very fast-moving stages to transport wafers. MaxDamp isolators allow the payload to settle very quickly after a stage motion, while still providing significant levels of vibration isolation. 

The CleanBench, equipped with Gimbal Piston Isolators is often used in Patch Clamping, In-Vitro Fertilization, Confocal Microscopy, and for optical microscopes. For more demanding applications, the MaxDamp Isolators provide a faster settling times. The MaxDamp isolators settle in about half the time of the Gimbal Piston Air Isolators. This is ideal for robotics or applications using moving stages or any application that has forces that move from the top down.

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